Beauty subscription boxes may seem like they’re out of your budget, but IPSY offers an affordable choice for anyone! Created for those looking for an adventure in beauty, you’ll receive a curated box every month tailored to your needs.
But while IPSY is now one of the largest beauty subscription services, is it right for you?
Our review will cover all the basics: we’ll go over how it works, the products you might get, whether it’s worth the cost, and who should consider subscribing.
- What Are IPSY Subscription Boxes?
- What’s in a Subscription Box?
- Which Bag Is Best for Me?
- Levels of Customization
- IPSY’s Shipping and Availability
- Membership Subscription Details
- Is IPSY Worth It?
- IPSY Subscription Review: The Bottom Line
What Are IPSY Subscription Boxes?
IPSY was founded in 2012 by Michelle Phan, at the height of YouTube’s beauty movement. It’s now one of the largest subscription box services available and is known for being affordable yet high quality. With IPSY, similarly to other subscription box services, you pay a monthly subscription cost (which we explore later), and in return, receive a selection of carefully curated beauty goodies each month.
Before signing up for the subscription, you have to take IPSY’s beauty quiz, which asks about products you would like, skincare issues you have, and more. The quiz includes questions on your preferences and physical appearance, so you’re sent products that complement your complexion.
This way, all monthly bags are tailored to your needs. With an assortment of skincare, haircare, and makeup products, it’ll take your beauty collection to new heights. Best of all, IPSY no longer has a waitlist, so you’ll be able to get your beauty box right after signing up!
IPSY works with dozens of companies to curate the best options for your box. You may get products from Huda Beauty, Tarte Cosmetics, Sunday Riley, and even Tatcha! If you’re interested in seeing the full list of retailers that they’re paired with, you can find them here.
You’ll notice that many of the brands are mid or high-range, so you’ll be getting a lot of value in your bags. Don’t worry about finding too many drugstore products in your beauty box!
IPSY subscriptions ship in the middle of each month and will typically arrive with you around two weeks later. However, keep in mind that IPSY doesn’t ship out in the traditional boxes that you may be accustomed to with other beauty services. Rather, all monthly subscriptions arrive in makeup bags with various cute designs. They’re sturdy and easily reusable for storage in the future as well!
What’s in a Subscription Box?
IPSY offers three different subscription services: Glam Bag, Glam Bag Plus, and Glam Bag X (previously the Glam Bag Ultimate). If you’re really into beauty boxes, you can even sign up for multiple options in the same month! Below, we’ll cover the basics of all three from most affordable to least affordable.
IPSY’s monthly Glam Bag comes with five ‘deluxe’ sized products for only $12 per month, or a discounted price of $132 a year. Each bag has at least a $50 value, so you’ll be able to try out high-end brands without paying full price. This is the most basic subscription they offer, and it also comes at the lowest price.
Glam Bag Plus
The Plus option features five full-sized products rather than deluxe-sized products, so your beauty box will last you much longer! It costs $25 a month while boasting a minimum value of $120. Just like the Glam Bag, this is also a monthly service.
Glam Bag X (Glam Bag Ultimate)
Previously known as the Glam Bag Ultimate, IPSY now brands this option as the Glam Bag X, a quarterly subscription service rather than a monthly subscription service. The Glam Bag X includes seven or eight full-sized products, with a retail value of up to $350! The Glam Bag X is available as of February 2023.
These Glam Bag X’s will ship out in February, May, August, and November and will replace your usual monthly bags. The cost is $55 per quarter, and so this option offers the best deal out of all the options! Currently, it’s only available as a quarterly upgrade from the original two bags, so you do need to have a pre-existing IPSY subscription.
Which Bag Is Best for Me?
Before choosing a subscription tier, you’ll want to consider how much beauty product you’d use in the first place. While samples from the Glam Bag are smaller, you’ll be able to get through them quickly. This is good for making sure you don’t end up with a surplus of supplies, though you might find yourself spending money on the full-sized products if you enjoy one of them a lot.
If you do like full-sized products more, you’ll want to opt for the Glam Bag Plus or the Glam Bag X. However, keep in mind that full-sized beauty products take a while to get through, so you’ll be sure to end up with a surplus very quickly, especially if you don’t like one of the selections.
With the large number of products you’ll be receiving, there’s no way you’d finish all of them before the next batch arrives. Have an idea for how to deal with any excess products so that you don’t end up throwing them out.
On the bright side, extra products can be gifted to family and friends who have an interest in beauty! You’ll also have a new makeup bag every month from the subscription service, and you can use these to package any excess beauty supplies as gifts.
Levels of Customization
IPSY tries to curate the box to fit your needs, starting with a beauty quiz that covers the basics. In addition, all boxes offer some level of choice. For the Glam Bag, you can choose between several options for one out of your five deluxe-sized products. For the Glam Bag Plus, you’ll be able to choose three out of five products arriving in your box!
However, when it comes to the Glam Bag X, it gets even more tailored to your tastes. During the ‘Ultra Personalization’ period, you’ll see four to five celebrity-curated picks. You’ll then be able to choose three or more full-sized products from several Glam Bag X exclusives and a new product that’s launching soon.
IPSY also offers add-ons for their subscription services. You’ll be able to pick up to 8 add-ons, with full-sized products costing around $18 and deluxe samples costing around $3.
Unfortunately, you’ll be unable to customize the bag that these products come in. Bags range in sizes and designs, and not every bag will fit your tastes. However, the bags are reusable and efficient when it comes to transporting your beauty supplies during your travels.
Additional Benefits of Subscribing to IPSY
In addition to the boxes themselves, subscribing to IPSY comes with several additional benefits. Here are the most notable.
As a perk to being a subscribed member, IPSY also offers a store with discounted prices for many beauty accessories. This includes things like beauty kits, tools and accessories, body scrubs, sheet masks, and more!
While IPSY doesn’t have any ongoing promotions for their subscription bags, they always have a large Black Friday sale and run promotions for several major holidays! In addition, the IPSY store updates every morning with new beauty product sales that are available for members.
IPSY Points System
IPSY also offers a points system. You get points for referring friends, giving product and bag reviews, and following IPSY’s creators on social media. You can then redeem these points for monthly bonus items and older subscription bags! However, points do expire after 12 months, so make sure you spend them before time runs out.
IPSY’s loyalty points are easy to earn when compared to other subscription services – you can get hundreds of them without spending any extra money! Just by being an active member of the IPSY community and writing reviews, you’ll be able to rack up enough points for some cool products before you know it.
IPSY’s Shipping and Availability
Unfortunately, IPSY is limited to North America. The Glam bag can ship to the US and Canada, while the Plus and X options can only ship within the US. All subscription boxes ship from one of two warehouses located in North Carolina and Texas, and there’ll be a unique tracking number for all your boxes.
Normally, you’ll receive subscription boxes starting the month after you sign up, but if you order early enough in the month, your membership may start in the same month.
Membership Subscription Details
IPSY makes it easy for you to manage your subscription on your membership page – you’ll be able to cancel subscriptions for the month ahead without any trouble.
While you won’t be able to return any Glam Bags, you can contact IPSY Care here to talk about any concerns you have.
Keep in mind that payments are auto-renewing, so you’ll have to remember to cancel before the next billing cycle. Unfortunately, if you cancel your annual subscription and no longer wish to receive bags, you will not be refunded. However, if you do cancel, you’ll be able to resubscribe at any point during the year.
Is IPSY Worth It?
It’s no wonder that IPSY is one of the most popular subscription boxes, with high-value products at affordable monthly prices. It can become costly if you choose to go for all the add-ons, but add-ons definitely aren’t necessary to enjoy the box.
Even with the basic Glam Bag option, you’ll be saving at least $38 each month when comparing the price of the subscription to the retail value of the products! Of course, you won’t be able to personally choose all the products that arrive, so you may not get full use out of products you don’t enjoy as much. When looking at the numbers, you can see just how much you save every month with an IPSY subscription. Just make sure you don’t let all your new products pile up!
Of course, every subscription service has its negatives, and the lack of a refund policy is our biggest issue. Even if you dislike every product in the received Glam Bag, you won’t be able to get your money back. In addition, their loyalty points will expire after a year.
That being said, if you’re adventurous and ready to try out new beauty items, IPSY is a money saver and an easy way to get deeper into the beauty community!
- Loads of customizable options for your subscriptions
- Three levels of subscriptions to suit all needs
- Try high-end beauty products at lower costs
- In-depth beauty quiz to curate the box specifically for you
- You’ll quickly end up with a surplus of makeup bags
- Loyalty points expire after 12 months
- No refunds for Glam Bags
IPSY is paired with dozens of retailers, and you’ll be exposed to a wide, diverse assortment of products through the subscription service. If you’re just getting into beauty and you want to branch out, IPSY is a great option. You’ll be able to experiment with new products without having to do your own research.
In addition, even if you are a little picky, IPSY’s customization options allow you to choose products that you enjoy (with a few surprises, of course). You’ll have more control over the beauty supplies you receive while still getting exposed to new brands, skincare products, and more! Who knows? You might enjoy that new eyeshadow palette in the next Glam Bag!
If you’re still not sure about getting an IPSY subscription, you can take a look at all they have to offer on their Instagram account, which often features promotions, giveaways, and products in the most recent Glam Bag.
Not convinced? If you’re still on the fence, we also recommend trying out Birchbox beauty boxes. Birchbox is the original subscription box that started the craze! These monthly boxes put a heavy focus on discovery and curation, with options for every age, skin type and hairstyle!